by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jan 27th 2010 2:45pm
After the judge in the Jammie Thomas-Rasset case decided to reduce the amount awarded to the record labels by the jury, we had hoped that both sides would figure out a way to just end this lawsuit. However, it looks like that's not happening. As we noted, the RIAA was extremely reluctant to accept the new, greatly reduced, award, not because of the amount, but because they're afraid to set precedent that a judge can lower the award in chosen by a jury using statutory damages in a copyright case. So, instead, the RIAA tried to offer Jammie a deal: pay $25,000 (donated to a musician's charity) and ask the judge to vacate the reduction in the award, and the case would be settled. This isn't surprising. The RIAA would just like the case to be over, but doesn't want to set the precedent, so they ask Thomass-Rasset to pay less, but the "trade" is to get the decision deleted. Thomas-Rasset quickly rejected the offer, and now it seems likely that the RIAA will reject the reduced amount and everyone will go back to trial over just the damage amount. In an interesting bit of spin, Thomas-Rasset's lawyers are claiming that this shows that the RIAA just wants to use this case as a "bogeyman" in order "to scare people into doing what they want," rather than as an attempt to actually recover any real damages.
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